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Fri Nite Frite: The Raven (is smarter than you)

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Tonite’s a bird frite because smart birds have been in the news lately:

Horror? Well, this is horror if you are a fish:

Another one:

Like, with all these smart birds around, can a fish afford to just be blankly stupid any more? Will we now see the evolution of smarter fish?

Years ago, a neighbor had a pet crow (a Corvid like a raven, but smaller) that could say quite a few sentences. He was well aware of the result he could expect from whatever he chose to say, which means he was communicating via speech rather than merely imitating what was said. "Nevermore" was his way of saying "no." curiousme
Why are our best engineers not as smart as random chance? Not even in the same ball-park. It must be the multiworlds. Maybe in another world their engineers will be smarter than random chance. They'd have to be very, very smart indeed, wouldn't they? Almost God-like - if I may be permitted to introduce the g-word, just this once. Axel
Biological Twist: How Owls Spin Heads Around - January 2013 Excerpt: ,,, many owl species, such as the barred owl, can rotate their heads 270 degrees in each direction, which means they can look to the left by rotating all the way to the right, or vice versa. But how do they do it without severing their arteries or preventing blood from reaching the brain?,,, (many nuances discussed),,, Why do owls need to crane their necks to such an extreme degree? It's because their eyes are tubular, built almost like telescopes, giving them amazing vision, de Kok-Mercado said. But unlike humans, who have roughly spherical eyes, owls cannot move them about easily, so they have to rotate their heads. The finding is just another example of how the birds are perfectly adapted to suit their environment, enabling them to see despite having relatively fixed eyes. http://www.livescience.com/26771-how-owls-rotate-heads.html bornagain77
How Bird Wings Work (Compared to Airplane Wings) - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jKokxPRtck FLIGHT: The Genius of Birds - Feathers - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2yeNoDCcBg “Feathers give no indication that they ever needed improvement. In fact, the “earliest known fossil feather is so modern-looking as to be indistinguishable from the feathers of birds flying today.” Yale University’s Manual of Ornithology—Avian Structure and Function When Dinosaurs Flew - February 4, 2014 Excerpt: A study published online by PeerJ on Jan. 2 detailed the examination of a startlingly complete and pristine specimen of an ancient, dinosaur-era bird: Hongshanornis longicresta, which flapped throughout what is now China roughly 125 million years ago during the early Cretaceous Period.,,, The flying style is far closer to that found in modern birds than what was supposed of ancient flyers — which have been thought to rely more on gliding due to a lack of enough muscle mass in flying appendages to achieve flapping bursts. “This isn’t a mode of flight we expected from Cretaceous birds,” Habib said, adding that its small size and overall shape are comparable to that of modern birds. “It was pretty much a Cretaceous starling with a larger tail like a mockingbird.” Transported to the modern world, it wouldn’t look like anything special to the casual observer, http://dornsife.usc.edu/news/stories/1622/when-dinosaurs-flew/ OT: Subjective Moralist, Question, 'Do You Lock Your Door at Night?' ~ Ravi Zacharias - video http://www.mrctv.org/videos/do-you-lock-your-door-night-ravi-zacharias-during-q-and bornagain77
Ravens used to be able to talk to but now... "Nevermore". fryether
Suddenly, It's OK to Say that Owls Are Engineered - February 14, 2014 Excerpt: With two other engineers, Jaworski is already working on designs for quieter blades for windmill farms, imitating the features of the owl's wing. "Commercial aircraft could also benefit from owl wing research," ,,, "The more closely you look at owl feathers, the more amazing they reveal themselves to be." http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/02/suddenly_its_ok082211.html bornagain77
OT: Theologian William Lane Craig Looks Forward to Debate 'Philosophically Informed and Civil' Atheist Sean Carroll - Feb. 13, 2014 http://www.christianpost.com/news/theologian-william-lane-craig-looks-forward-to-debate-philosophically-informed-and-civil-atheist-sean-carroll-114502/ bornagain77

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